Midsummer is very special time of the year in North as the sun does not go down at all. The nights are light and beautiful.
As the summer in Finland gets warmer and warmer each day, the noghts become more nightless here in Lapland. The sun stays above the horizon even at times like midnight. This means only one thing - the Midsummer is getting closer!
Today, the 19th of June, begins the time period in which the Midsummer celebration can take place. Midsummer celebration, also known as St. John's Feast Day or Juhannus in Finland (and in many more names around the world) is celebrated between June 19th and June 25th. ☀️
This is a celebration, which marks the middle of summer (Midsummer), the beginning of the Astronomical summer and the nativity of St. John the Baptist. Usually it is celebrated on the 21st, 24th, 25th of June or the days closest to the summer solstice 19th-25th of June.
But how do Finns celebrate Juhannus?
Well, as the english name hints us, the Finns have a feast! They would go together with friends or family to a summer cottage close by a lake (mökki) and they would bring a lot of food and beverages. Some of them might do some fishing in the lake as well. And as we all know - the sauna in the cottage must be used😄!
Long story - short: Finns would spend the time with their companions having lots of fun, food, drinks and sauna.
Some traditions, like the Juhannuskokko, would include the building of a huge bonfire. And, of course, there are also some superstitions related to Juhannus, one of them being that if you put flowers underneath your pillow you would catch a glimpse of your future husband/wife.
So, if you celebrate Juhannus where you're coming from, how do you celebrate it? Is it anything simillar to the way we do here? And if you're spending the summer in Finland, remember, you can now celebrate Juhannus with your friends/family and also see the magnificent Midnight Sun (or as it is called in Finnish Yötön Yö)!
- Boris Stoev, tourism student -
Today I am writing this article from the comfort of my own room. Since last march, this space has been my very own home office, classroom, and conference hall.
In here I have prepared my thesis, had German language courses, and held meetings with teachers and group project members. Despite the extremely sudden turn towards 100% digital studying during the spring, I must confess that this digital semester of mine has proven to be quite successful one.
Despite the sudden change in the global situation, the actual studying experience remained largely the same. Many of my prior classes were already conducted through online, or at least had some elements that were completed with the use of online tools, so the concept was not unfamiliar to me. Moving my classroom from the campus to my own home office proved to be remarkably easy as I was already familiar with the online systems that the school uses.
There were, of course, some unavoidable technical difficulties occasionally, but those were fixed always quite quickly. The presence of helpful and immensely professional IT-experts were always present during online classes. Thanks to them, technical issues had no effect on my learning experience.
While I missed actual human contact that was present during the classroom, communication with teachers remained clear even through digital channels. The professionality and helpfulness of the teachers was still the same as ever, even if it was expressed through email and video chat.
My digital semester has also been extremely educational for me. It has been interesting to see how our everyday organizations have been able to respond to the challenges that the global health situations present us. I have also gained a newfound respect towards the IT-systems and the busy people that maintain them!
When the global health situation finally improves, and the school opens its doors, it remains to be seen how this experience will change the study process in the future? Will we return permanently to the classrooms, or make a migration towards entirely digital learning experience? That we will see in the future.
- Matti, Business student -
Lapland University of Applied Sciences is hosting a visitor from Rome. Our quest name is Federico Palumbo, a trainee from Italy.
Federico’s home university is "Foro Italico" in Rome. The "Foro Italico" university is devoted to sport science. Federico arrived in Rovaniemi on 14 August and started traineeship on 15/08.
Federico decided to come to Lapland University of Applied Sciences because he likes the Finnish teaching method that is based on the idea of student independence and skills-based curriculum. Other attractiveness factor is Finnish nature! Federico praises the landscape around his studies as wonderful.
Federico stays with the Finnish landscape for six months, which means that he becomes familiar with various seasons that Lapland provides. In Lapland University of Applied Sciences Federico has various tasks. First, he is doing a practical training with several courses of judo (children and teenagers) and he is writing a review about AMID project (Athletic Migration in Dual Career) that will be his final exam at "Foro Italico" University. Secondly, he is implementing a course regarding human in cold. Thirdly, he has many kinds of support tasks linked with the AMiD project.
Federico has met many people during the orientation week and has made friendships with exchange students and tutors of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. He gets along well with local teachers and colleagues.
The tutors of Lapland University of Applied Sciences support the integration for the exchange students. The tutors are available to help the exchange students about everything (studies, practicalities and leisure). Every Thursday there is a tutor park where exchange students can come and ask questions or get help from tutors. In the end, once at semester they organize a trip for exchange students!
Photo: Federico Palumbo from University of Rome and Niko Niemisalo, staff of Lapland University of Applied Sciences
The annual International and Multicultural Fair took place again on the 29th of November 2018 in the Rantavitikka Campus main lobby. As usual, the Fair was organized by the International Business (IB) first year students.
The IB18 group was represented this year by fourteen students from Russia, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Mali, Zambia and Finland. The Fair, which is part of the curriculum in International Business, involves preparations in theory and practice with a combination of contact lessons and independent study worth five credits.
The general objectives of the study unit are for the students to become familiar with various cross-cultural theories, principles and elements of intercultural communication, and primarily international teamwork. These theoretical subjects in the form of workshops, excursions and lectures prepare the students to critically understand cultural differences and the individuals behind the cultures, to work as team and as the ultimate result to implement an event together.
The International and Multicultural Fair also provides the first year IB students with an environment and occasion to demonstrate their oral and written English language competence as part of their studies in the overlapping English at Work study unit.
During the Fair day the organizing group IB18S showcased the cultures of their national countries in multiple ways featuring the theme of business etiquette around the world. A relevant topic in both global and glocal context.
The beautiful brochures about good business manners in respective countries, the skillful DIY deco in the lobby, and the interesting artifacts, self-crafted flags, ornaments, and photos on the country stands attracted a fair amount of passers-by to pop in, to ask questions or just to have a peek.
Several nursing, forestry and business students had an integrated English language or multicultural assignment to be completed in the Fair.
The organizing group of the Fair revealed and shared their talents through music performances, inspirational speeches and enlightening presentations. Each individual contributed to the relaxed and international atmosphere of the Fair enabling entwining of English language learning, multicultural skills, and perhaps most importantly encounters between Finnish and foreign students. This is something that is constantly mentioned as a development need in the feedback of both national and international students.
Students seem to want to have more study related opportunities to get to know each other and share their knowledge and skills.
The International and Multicultural Fair, featuring business etiquette around the world 2018, was a success in many ways and the IB18S received merely positive feedback for their efforts and energetic presence.
The following day the group gathered to a “debriefing” session over a cup of coffee in the campus cafeteria. In the discussions and reflections it became evident that the students had learnt even more than they had initially expected. The challenging event planning process that had started three months earlier had taught the individual students above all about teamwork and cultural diversity, resilience and learning by doing together.
The group had also gained a fair amount of knowhow on event planning and marketing and they had learnt the ABC’s of organizing an event. Most of all they had learnt how to work as a group. Despite the fact that they all came from different backgrounds, they had found themselves being determined and pursuing towards a common goal.
According to the students, it will certainly be useful to have events like this every year. In their opinion, because of the International and Multicultural Fair, they became closer to each other and stronger as a group. All objectives in the curriculum were met with flying colours. Learning happened and competences were demonstrated spiced with some excellent team spirit, a lot of laughs, and fun.
Congrats and thanks go to Nelli, Halsey, Eric, Kennedy, Maria, Vart, Mark, Alex, Long, Niia, Nissan, Nassira, Sushma, and Sewon for making the Fair happen and for having an ever so positive attitude towards learning and life even in the midst of darkness and ice outside.
The joint event report that the group wrote as a collaborative writing task to wrap up the entire semester, served as a source of information and feedback to even further develop events like this to happen more often. The advice and experiences that the group reported will be appreciated as hopefully a new group sets to make the International and Multicultural Fair happen again in 2019.
A direct quote from the IB18S group to their future IB peers seems appropriate here:
“Dear future IB students,
It is a pleasure for us to share our experience with you and give practical advice. First of all, it is important to mention that you do not have to be perfect. Learn from your mistakes and be persistent. You should always remember to respect your teachers and set deadlines. Work as a group and divide responsibilities and tasks equally. Do not forget that time goes past faster than you can even imagine, so do everything in advance, not the day before. For us this is only the beginning of our journey and you will hear more about us in the future.” (students from IB18S)
Today on 2 June, four semesters have passed since I started my studies with DPT13. A new city to live in, my first third-level education and many, many new faces. I remember I was so excited to start studying tourism, especially in English and in an international environment.
My name is Tanja and I am a 23-year-old native Lappish woman from a small village not that far away from Rovaniemi, from the beautiful Tornio Valley beside the Swedish border. They say that the hospitality comes along with traditions of the region where I was born and raised during my childhood. My mom and grandmother have also worked in the same field, hospitality, so I guess it’s something important to me because of that as well. When we are thinking about it from these angles, it was a natural choice for me to apply for a school of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
We were the first group doing certain kinds of studies or we tested new study methods. It was both challenging of course for us and especially for teachers but also very rewarding. It also tells something about the practices of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. At least they do not stick with the old grey methods and dusty books lying in the corners of the library but they are always designing something new.
We had the pleasure to learn and practise our skills in the real life context. Probably SantaPark and Arctic Design Week have stayed in my mind best of all these projects where we had a commissioner involved in the study unit. Product development and experience design for SantaPark’s new Käpylehmä accommodation concept was really interesting and it was great to be able to be part of it. Arctic Design Week which gathers stakeholders from different levels – University of Lapland, City of Rovaniemi, Pilke House, Arktikum, Korundi and Rovaniemi Development Ltd for instance – was really a fascinating experience where we learnt networking and project managerial skills. We did our best for the development of it and it was a real learning situation.
I have been abroad during my studies all in all three times. During my Basic Training I was in Germany, in a small family-owned wellness hotel in a fairy tale kind of Alp village in the border of Austria and from there I flew almost straight to the other side of the world, the United States of America. In Missouri, there was a town called Cape Girardeau, where I spent four months in total doing business studies, making new friends from all over the world and getting valuable life experiences. I really got so much out of this journey and I warmly recommend everybody to go out there and see the world. Then there was a summer a year ago that I spent in London with a tour operator ScanAdventures and accomplished the Advanced Training. The real life experience with working in a tourism company like that widened my professional perspective more than ever during the studies.
All in all, I’m leaving behind me my studies with DPT13 with very nostalgic, warm and grateful feelings. I believe all of us have overcome ourselves, being excited about cool projects and events we have had the pleasure to be part of. I am closing the door of the school with bright mind and the pack bag filled with valuable skills and knowledge: so many nice experiences, new people in my life, I believe lifetime friendships, much of personal growth and career opportunities. In short, that was what my studies were about. I wish you all nice summer as well as good luck and bright mind if you are going for tourism studies!
Heippa! “University in Lapland” sounds quite mysterious and cold, doesn’t it? For me, Lapland is associated with “The Snow Queen”, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where a girl, Gerda, crosses this “glorious place” on a reindeer. Yes, this is a home of such pretty animals like reindeer! Yes, Rovaniemi is the town located right on the Arctic Circle! Seeing the contrast between a highly active student life and immovable snow fields, warm friendly atmosphere and cold nights with northern lights, the Rovaniemi city becomes something unique for you!
To study tourism at Lapland UAS is the best option for those who are looking for practical training in this field and job opportunities as well. There are many local companies the university has connections with. Most of my friends were able to find a job in the tourism industry during our Christmas holidays for instance.
The study process is really engaging and quite challenging. There are a lot of group projects that help you to develop skills needed when working in a multicultural team. The teachers have relevant experience in the tourism field and always inspire their students to improve their results and think of new, innovative ways. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that students can send feedback about their studies after each course. On the university campus there is a comfort zone especially equipped for independent studies or just for resting.
In Lapland UAS there are student organizations you can join and which are truly working for students. For example, at the beginning of our studies, the Rotko team arranged a competition in the medieval style. We had fun and this event brought our classmates together.
Finally, Lapland UAS is a great place for people who are tired of crowded, noisy cities and pollution. You don’t need to go far away to enjoy the nature and picturesque landscapes because it is all around here!
Arctic Business Dating or Napalaakson Yritystreffit was held on 23th of November 2016 in Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Jokiväylä.
The event started at 10 o’clock with welcoming speeches by Leena Alalääkkölä, Kaisa Lammi, Katarína Hollá and Leena Svanberg.
During the morning part, there was International Fair running in the main hall, organized and prepared by international 1st year students of International Business program. They had prepared stands where they were presenting their countries, altogether it was 9 different countries – Finland, China, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Iran/Azerbaijan, Hungary, Russia, United Kingdom and Spain. Their stands were really interesting and there was many different things to see what most of us didn’t even have an idea about!
In Borealis Auditorium were at the same time presented pitches by Napalaakso enterprises. After that students from Napalaakso enterprises visited International Business students at their stands, read their brochures, asked some questions and finally got to know 9 different cultures within such a short time.
In the afternoon students had a chance to listen to very interesting entrepreneurial stories. First speaker was Juha Eskelinen who was talking about his famous company located in Rovaniemi – CafeBar21. Second speaker was Olli Huotari who talked about his success story with company Mandragora. The third speech was about Nutmegger PR by Rob Patterson which was really interesting to listen for every student who was present.
The next on the program was Arctic Business Dating which aim was to get together Finnish students with International students of Lapland UAS. The program was created by IB students (Raivis Aire and Katarína Hollá) and consisted of Ice-breaking activities, Arctic freeze challenge and in general activities which made everyone get to know each other and most importantly laugh and have fun!
Innovate or die! is an innovation competition for students in higher education, where students from different study areas generate new, out of the box solutions for the clients’ business challenge.
The Lapland University of Applied Science had 2 teams from Tornio campus and 1 team from Rovaniemi campus there - students of International business - Katarína Hollá, An Tran, Sahand Arefi Oskui, Dilxat Polat and Matti Hämäläinen. The competition took place in Jämsä, Himos on 17th-18th of November 2016.
For the Rovaniemi team, the journey started already on Wednesday 16th of November when they left Rovaniemi and arrived in Tornio in late hours. At 5am on Thursday morning all 3 teams met and left Tornio together with the coach - Joonas Koivumaa. After almost 8 hours long ride from Tornio, the bus arrived in Himos and Lapland UAS teams were ready to start the competition!
After introduction speeches, teams received their cases. Our team of IB students received a case of Helsingin Sanomat when they needed to create a new paid digital concept for this famous newspaper to attract more young people. Everyone had only 24 hours to solve this case and they did it really well! By creating and application with multiple interesting features, creating pitch, practicing it and finally on Friday afternoon presenting it they did a great job! Even the Helsingin Sanomat representative said that it is one brilliant idea which has a future.
After the pitches, winners were chosen and unfortunately none of our teams were part of them. Even though they didn’t become winners of the competition, they became winners for themselves.
Being able to create such amazing ideas in such a short time is a great ability to have and everyone should be proud of themselves for taking part in this competition and gaining valuable experiences for their future life.
Author: Katarína Hollá
Photos: An Tran
As an international student in a foreign land, loneliness can cripple into one’s life. One can start to miss family members, friends, former classmates, colleagues and comrades in different spheres of one’s life.
Here at Lapland University of Applied Sciences, as international students we device means and ways of making every international student to feel at home and be able to carry on with studies without feeling being lonely.
We organize activities mostly during weekends as a way of bringing each and everyone one of us closer to each other. Cultural Exchange is a key area in this piece.
In cultural exchange, we can have cultural evening, where international students can be asked to bring some food from their home country. We eat together, enjoying music. It’s a good platform to make new friendships and relaxing your mind from hectic schedules we sometimes have with school.
These social gatherings unite us as a community building friendships and togetherness which an important tool, especially in this ever changing world. It brings up the idea of teamwork, team spirit and a foster a cluster which makes it easier to survive in a foreign land.
LAPLAND UAS, WHERE CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS TAKEN AS AN OPPORTUNITY OF COMMUNITY DEVLOPMENT!
Heath Nhandara, 3rd Year, Bachelor of Health Care, Nursing Science
Hello readers, my name is Zun and I am a second year nursing student in Lapland UAS, Kemi. Life in Kemi is easy going. People are friendly. I heard that Finnish people are shy but they are not that shy, at least after you start talking to them, they will answer and be friendly. I like the peaceful way of life here in Kemi and also Finland itself.
Studying in the Lapland University of Applied Sciences is awesome. We have mostly good teachers and subjects. Also we have good equipment. A lot of material and studying done at home using Moodle. Moodle is an online service in internet for studying. Soon I’m going to start my practical training at Kemi’s Hospital and I’m very excited about it. I hope I will get a lot more knowledge about nursing.
Photo 1: Me in Snow Castle
Here in Kemi, around from January to April, you can visit Snow Castle - the one and only. Also, Northern Lights are awesome, everyone should see those at least 100 times for 4 years of studying here. I have tried also ice fishing, it’s quite boring when it’s hard to get big fish but still an experience. Maybe the one-in-the-lifetime experience will be the low temperature and sauna and going outside where is -30Celsius after sauna that is +100Celsius.
Photo 2: Zun and friends in ice fishing
Photo 3: Zun caught 1 fish
The Finnish language is very hard. But you will start to love it after some hard studying. I have been studying Finnish for one year now and I can understand some and also speak some but I still have a lot to learn. I have lost my motivation to study Finnish for couple of times but still I’m working for it and soon I will master it. Trust me, when you are exposed to the language, you will see it is one of the loveliest language on the planet earth.
Words by Zun Pham – nursing student